Dubai Airport expects worst year in decade
DUBAI • Dubai International Airport predicted passenger growth this year will be the slowest in a decade, underscoring the challenges facing the aviation industry in the region after years of aggressive expansion.
The Persian Gulf hub expects to lure 89 million travellers, 6.4 per cent fewer than last year, it said in a statement yesterday. That is the weakest pace in 10 years, excluding 2014.
Traffic gains last year slowed to 7.2 per cent from 10.7 per cent in 2015, giving a total of 83.6 million customers as global economies faltered and lower oil prices clipped Middle East travel.
Dubai International still outperformed many rival hubs in Europe.
To cope with future capacity needs, the sheikhdom is spending US$36 billion (S$51 billion) on a new hub where flagship carrier Emirates is due to shift flights to.
AirAsia X cleared for flights to US
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's AirAsia X said it had become Asia's first low-cost carrier to receive approval to operate scheduled passenger flights to any destination within the United States.
The long-haul airline in a statement said it gained approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration and that it was considering flights to several US states, including Hawaii.
AirAsia X also said it was mulling over the resumption of flights to London.
It suspended its London flights in March 2012 due to high taxes but has held on to hopes of resuming services.